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Descent

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Descent
Descent cover
Developers
Parallax Software
Mac OS (Classic) Interplay Entertainment
Publishers
Interplay Entertainment
Release dates
DOS March 17, 1995[1]
Windows March 17, 1995[1]
Mac OS (Classic) November 1995[2]
Windows (DOSBox) July 22, 2008
macOS (OS X) (DOSBox) October 25, 2012[3]
Linux (DOSBox) September 23, 2021
Taxonomy
Monetization One-time game purchase
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Action, FPS, Shooter, Vehicle combat
Vehicles Space flight
Art styles Realistic
Themes Sci-fi
Series Descent
Descent on HowLongToBeat
Descent on IGDB
Descent guide on StrategyWiki
Descent on MobyGames
Descent on Wikipedia
Descent
Descent 1995
Descent II 1996
Descent 3 1999
Descent (upcoming) TBA

Descent is a singleplayer and multiplayer first-person action, FPS, shooter and vehicle combat game in the Descent series.

Key points

Engine is open source with modern multi-platform ports available. It is highly recommended to use either D1X-Rebirth or D2X-XL.

General information

GOG.com Community Discussions for game series
GOG.com Support Page
Steam Community Discussions
Descent source code download page

Availability

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
DRM-free
DOS
Windows
Mac OS
Epic Games Store
DRM details are not known
Windows
macOS (OS X)
GOG.com
DRM-free
DOS version pre-packaged with DOSBox.[4]
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Steam
Icon overlay.png
DOS version pre-packaged with DOSBox.[5]
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux

Version differences

The classic Mac OS version was substantially improved during the porting process. It features high-res (640x480 vs DOS's 320x200) menus, backgrounds, fonts & briefing images. It also had studio quality audio tracks. This version would later be used as the base for the PlayStation version, which additionally had intro videos (verses slides) and simple lighting effects. D1X-Rebirth supports the Mac OS data files though Windows users may require these patches.

Monetization

DLC and expansion packs

The PlayStation version included additional multiplayer maps ("anarchy levels"). Although porting them to the PC would theoretically be simple, no attempt has been made.
Name Notes
Levels of the World
DOS
Mac OS
Anniversary's bonus levels (no official name given) Also included with The Definitive Collection
DOS
In addition to the add ons above, Interplay had many map making competitions which some players considered to be the game's unofficial 3rd DLC. Although no official compilation has been made, a user on gog.com has made one of his own with almost all competition entries included. It can be downloaded here.

Essential improvements

Source ports

This is a selective list of source ports available for Descent. These ports are major upgrades to the game and will improve almost all aspects of the game. Most notably, these ports support Windows, OS X, and Linux natively without the need for DOSBox.
The base game files required for these source ports to work are descent.hog and descent.pig. These can be obtained from the game's installation folder or the install disc.
Name Description
D1X-Rebirth Focused mostly on maintaining original gameplay and being authentic. Feature List
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
D2X-XL Focused mostly on graphical and gameplay improvements. Changelog/Feature List
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
DXX-Retro Based on DXX-Rebirth. Focused mostly on improving multiplayer. Source & Changelog
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Project D2X Very old source port, hasn't been updated in a long time. This project was the base for DXX-Rebirth & XL
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
DOS

Game data

In-game general settings.
In-game general settings.

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
DOS <path-to-game>\
Windows <path-to-game>\[Note 1]
Mac OS (Classic)
macOS (OS X) <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 2]
Linux <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 2]
It's unknown whether this game follows the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux. Please fill in this information.

Save game data location

System Location
DOS <path-to-game>\
Windows <path-to-game>\[Note 1]
Mac OS (Classic)
macOS (OS X) <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 2]
Linux <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing

Video

In-game video settings.
In-game video settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
A source port is required. See Source ports.
Multi-monitor
Use D1X-Rebirth (D2X-XL has incorrect scaling).
Ultra-widescreen
Use D1X-Rebirth (D2X-XL has incorrect scaling).
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Windowed
For DOSBox toggle with Alt+ Enter (see the glossary page for other workarounds).
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
A source port is required. See Source ports.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
A source port is required. See Source ports.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
A source port is required. See Source ports.
60 FPS
Capped at 50 FPS;[6] for 60 FPS see Source ports.
120+ FPS
A source port is required. See Source ports.
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.

Input

In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.

Audio

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Subtitles
No Audio Dialogue to subtitle.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
For DOSBox change the priority background value in the DOSBox configuration file.
Royalty free audio
Red Book CD audio
Mac OS CD-ROM version only.
General MIDI audio
DOS version only.

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
Brazilian Portuguese
Retail only.[7]

Network

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
8 Versus, Co-op
Online play
8 Versus, Co-op

Connection types

VR support

3D modes State Notes
Native 3D
Use D2X-XL (anaglyph, 3D TV).[8]
Nvidia 3D Vision
See Descent 1 - 2 (DXX-Rebirth) [OpenGL].
vorpX
G3D
Officially supported game trough D2X-XL, see official vorpx game list.
Headsets
SteamVR
This game might be playable with the Revive Compatibility Layer (compatibility list).
Oculus VR (LibOVR)
Use D2X-XL.[8]
Windows Mixed Reality
This game might be playable with the Revive Compatibility Layer.
Forte VFX1
Said to have added support in the game's v1.4a patch.[9] Unknown if any source ports support the headset.
Devices
Tracked motion controllers
Traditional controller
See Input for details.
Keyboard/Mouse
TrackIR
Supports: Yaw, Pitch, Roll, X, Y, Z (Descent: D2X-XL).
Play area
Seated
Standing
Room-scale

Other information

API

Technical specs Supported Notes
OpenGL 1.0 Requires a source port or official OpenGL patch from interplay.
Software renderer
Default mode in source ports and only mode without graphics patch from interplay
DOS video modes VGA, SVGA
ExecutablePPC16-bit 32-bit 64-bitARM Notes
Windows
64-bit requires a source port.
macOS (OS X)
OS X support requires a source port.
Linux
Requires a source port.
Mac OS (Classic)

Middleware

Middleware Notes
Audio Human Machine Interface (HMI) audio drivers

System requirements

DOS
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 5.0
Processor (CPU) Intel 386 33 MHz
System memory (RAM) 4 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 25 MB
Video card (GPU) VGA
Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP, Vista, 7, 8 (runs in DOSBox)
Processor (CPU) 1 GHz
System memory (RAM) 512 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 25 MB
Video card (GPU) DirectX 7 compatible
Mac OS
Minimum
Operating system (OS) System 7 (classic)
Processor (CPU) PowerPC 601 90 MHz
System memory (RAM) 8 MB (3 can be virtual memory)
Hard disk drive (HDD) 18 MB
Video card (GPU) 640x480 display with 256 colors
macOS (OS X)
Minimum
Operating system (OS) 10.6.8 "Snow Leopard" (runs in DOSBox)
Processor (CPU) Intel Core Duo 2 GHz
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD)
Video card (GPU) 64 MB of VRAM
Linux
Minimum
Operating system (OS) Ubuntu 16.04
Processor (CPU) 2.0 GHz
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 50 MB
Video card (GPU) OpenGL compatible
256 MB of VRAM
Supported Sound Cards: Sound Blaster (Pro, 16, AWE32); Media Vision Pro-Audio Spectrum (Plus, 16, Studio); Gravis Ultrasound; Roland MT-32/LAPC-1/SCC-1 (music only)


Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 File/folder structure within the installation folder reflects the path(s) listed for DOS game data.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 DESCENT - Press Release (retrieved) - last accessed on 2023-06-02
  2. MacPlay: October 10, 1995 (retrieved) - last accessed on 2023-10-16
    "This Mac User Group-only competition commences in mid-November, when the Macintosh version of the game is set to release."
  3. GOG.com adds Interplay games for Mac OS X - GOG.com (retrieved) - last accessed on 2023-10-16
  4. List of GOG games using DOSBox, page 1 - Forum - GOG.com - last accessed on May 2023
  5. Native or DOSBOX? :: Descent General Discussions - last accessed on May 2023
  6. Higher Framerate = good or bad? - last accessed on May 2023
  7. New World Interactive (1996) - last accessed on 2023-06-12
  8. 8.0 8.1 D2X-XL - Descent (video game) revived and enhanced!About D2X-XL.
  9. VFX1 Headgear Compatible Softwater - Mindflux - last accessed on May 2023